The Spanish Society for Periodontology and Osseointegration (SEPA) has recently done a review of studies related to the impact of oral health on sports performance and have been able to demonstrate that poor oral health negatively affects people when practicing a sport activity.
This study, for which the F.C. Barcelona football players were taken as a sample revealed that athletes with periodontal pockets and poor oral health suffered more muscle injuries than others. That is, infections in the mouth are related to muscle problems, tendinitis, or arthritis; pathologies that not only produce pain, but limit the performance of athletes.
In addition to this study, University College of London examined the mouths of 8 professional football clubs in England and observed that they suffered from different oral pathologies that affected them not only in their sports performance, but also in their private lives:
- 77% of the players who had the checkup had gingivitis.
- Approximately 50% suffered caries and dental erosion.
- More than 80% had irreversible periodontitis.
The importance of protecting our teeth in contact sports
There are a series of sports called “contact” among which rugby, basketball, martial arts or hockey stand out, in which oral health is very unprotected. During the practice of these sports, many athletes end up suffering a large amount of trauma, dislocations and fractures that must be intervened quickly as they affect performance.
In addition to these sports, there are others such as cycling or skiing in which, due to the high speeds that can be reached, there can be a large number of accidents that lead to trauma or loss of dental pieces.
That is why it is important that when practicing any of these sports in which there is a real risk for our oral health, use some type of oral protection that allows at least reducing the severity of a possible accident.
The most frequent oral pathologies among athletes
Además de los traumatismos, fracturas y luxaciones que pueden sufrir los deportistas en la boca, hay más patologías que pueden afectarles, reduciendo así su rendimiento deportivo.
In addition to the trauma, fractures and dislocations that athletes may suffer in the mouth, there are more pathologies that can affect them, thus reducing their sports performance.
- Stress: Increases the chances of suffering bruxism and contractures.
- Dehydration: Saliva helps protect the mouth and it decreases when we make a great sport effort.
- Bacterial plaque: It is the main cause of caries and periodontal diseases and is formed especially in athletes who practice swimming in the pool.
- Fractures: As we have already said, they mainly occur in contact sports, representing approximately 30% of all maxillofacial fractures.
- Periodontitis: It is related to muscle fatigue, an increased risk of contractures and, above all, a slower recovery from injuries that can greatly affect the development of sports practice, especially in professional athletes.
- Diet: Due to the consumption of carbohydrates related to sports practice, many athletes have a higher risk of caries, dental erosion and periodontal disease.
Get an annual dental checkup
Now that you have seen what are the most frequent pathologies among athletes and how they affect their performance, you have probably understood that oral health is very important to help them avoid injuries and reduce pain. That is why it is essential that both professional athletes and amateurs keep an exhaustive control of their oral health.
As our associates and experts in Dentistry, Centros de Calidad Dental say, it is important to have at least one dental checkup every year in order to know the state of our oral health and prevent a large number of pathologies. Brushing your teeth after each meal is insufficient to protect you, so if you haven’t had your annual check-up yet, contact Centros de Calidad Dental now.